*tap* *tap* Is this thing on?
Welcome back, Guardians! Today we are SO excited to share the first Community Focus of 2022!
What is a Community Focus you may ask? Well, it’s where we (the Community Team) get to introduce a community member and spotlight something about them! This can include, but is not limited to, streamers, artists, cosplayers, 3D magicians, musicians, and the list can literally go on and on. We will be looking for humans all over the interwebs, so please keep posting and tagging us!
So, let’s get on with the show, shall we?
Today, I am proud to introduce GamerGirlGrey!
Hello Grey! Thank you so much for being a part of this! Tell us a little about who you are.
Hello guardians! I’m Grey aka GamerGirlGrey, your next door Indian-American Twitch community builder and gamer with the motto “Gaming for the Greater Good.” I was born and raised in India and moved to the States with a dream and two suitcases in 2016. Outside of gaming, building a community I’m proud of, and being a mom to four cats and two dogs, I work full-time in healthcare to develop products that improve the lives of people living with chronic conditions. It’s an absolute honor to be featured here, thank you!
The honor is all ours! You have quite the adventure under your belt, don’t you? Tell us a bit more about how “Gaming for the Greater Good” came about.
I have been obsessed with technology for as long as I can remember. My mom – a working single mother – recognized this, so my rewards for doing well in studies were always whatever gaming system we could afford at the time. I distinctly remember being more ecstatic about getting the original Nintendo than acing my high school exams. I dabbled in classics like Call of Duty, Age of Empires, Medal of Honor, and Grand Theft Auto on any relative’s PC I could find these games on (which was more rare than you’d think in an Indian household in the 90’s). Gaming didn’t become a staple in my life until 2014, when I got my first Xbox as a first-paycheck gift from my best friends. I dove headfirst into FPS games for the first time in my life.
I distinctly remember browsing through Destiny’s game trailer, installing it, and staying up the whole night playing through the story. I was captivated by not just the stunning worlds and amazing lore, but also seeing all these Guardians around me. No matter what hour of the night in India I logged on, I had friends waiting to hang out. For the first time ever, I didn’t feel alone and scared as a young, gay, closeted woman in India. I had found my safe space, somewhere I could be my authentic self and not have to worry about the repercussions of anyone finding this “label” associated to my identity. (Homosexuality was legalized in India in late 2018 but is yet to be socially accepted for the most part.) Since then, Destiny has remained a constant through many major life-transforming events for me and gaming has been my happy place. My end goal with content creation is to use it for as much greater good as possible.
That is so inspiring. I love how you turned a negative experience into something positive and community focused. Finding that safe space to be you is so important and I am excited you helped create one for others!
So, what are you currently focused on while streaming and what is the “vibe” of your channel?
While I've been a Guardian since Destiny 1, I started streaming in 2018 primarily to find people to sherpa through the Black Armory forges. Me and a friend would pick low-Light Guardians from the Xbox LFG and help them through any forge of their choice. A lot of these Guardians would talk about Twitch and how you could find more people that need help there and all these cool streamers you could learn new strats from. I created a Twitch account, plugged the detachable mic into my trusty $25 Turtle Beach headset and started my content creation journey. While the content of the channel has changed since then, the core principle remains the same: help people in any way I can while making new friends and growing, both as a person and a player.
I really enjoy doing challenging activities like Day-1 raids, solo/+Flawless attempts and GM/raid/Trials helps with my community but you will find me in the Crucible most of the time. With Destiny being my first PvP game, I’ve invested a lot of time in learning and improving as a player, so I thoroughly enjoy testing my mettle against other Guardians and showcasing my gameplay while making people smile with lighthearted banter amongst friends. I try to pepper in introspective commentary on what I could have done better in engagements I lose, why I’m making the decisions I make in an engagement, as well as voicing my honest opinions on how getting killed by a Lorentz or Le Monarque body shot truly makes me feel.
I like to think of myself more as a community builder than a content creator since I see streaming as a means to my end goal. My streams revolve around building what I call “a happy corner of the Internet” where good people can come together to hang out, form meaningful connections, contribute towards great causes, and feel comfortable being their authentic selves without the fear of being ostracized, mocked, or ridiculed. The conversations we have aren’t always all sunshine and rainbows but they are honest and that’s something I strive to encourage. Life isn’t always what we want it to be and we aren’t perfect beings to begin with, but my goal is to make you realize you aren’t alone in your journey to be the best version of yourself. We’re in this adventure zooming through space and time together, so we might as well make it as pleasant for each other as possible.
I’m also deeply invested in representing LGBTQIA+, POC, women, and Asian gamers and using my platform to raise awareness for great causes. One of my favorite quotes is, “Be the example you needed when you were younger.” This sentiment resonates through all of my memorable streaming moments. I had the privilege to come out to my community in early 2021 and I stream with the Asian, Indian, and LGBTQIA+ tags to normalize the idea of LGBTQIA+ streamers being “normal” people and living happy, successful lives. This helps educate people who find my streams through these tags, many of whom have become regulars in my community and have felt comfortable reaching out to share their struggles and journeys.
For example, one of the cool conversation starters in my streams is the Pride flag in my background. It helps LGBTQIA+ people feel welcome in my community and helps inquiring minds feel comfortable asking questions. I’d summarize my stream vibe as “great conversations and a bunch of pet cameos with the backdrop of good gameplay and S-tier music.” (Please trust me on this especially if you’re a 90’s child!)
I totally could have used you during those forges! PvP is one of my favorite activities to play with friends for sure, although I am terrible *smile*. Also, your commentary is 10/10! The “community builder vs. content creator” is also a very solid take. I know quite a few humans who will just love meeting you and your community. “Be the example you needed when you were younger” is also very powerful.
We know the community will ask so let’s let them know, what class is your main when playing and what is your favorite loadout currently?
I divide my PvP time almost equally between my Hunter and Titan but I’d be lying if I didn’t accept that I’m a Hunter main at heart. I love using Ace of Spades or Sturm + Drang on my bottom tree Golden Gun Hunter. Both these loadouts make for some awesome moments with Memento Mori explosion double kills or Overcharged Sturm shots after peppering aggressive Shotgun players down with Drang. Also, Dragon’s Shadow gang rise up! Our small but faithful cult is patiently waiting for a new Dragon’s Shadow ornament that works with any shaders other than gold. (Please!)
On my Titan, I love running around with Sondok C and MIDA Mini-Tool/Tarrabah, a double SMG build that covers both long and short range very well, especially when paired with Peacekeepers. The Sondok gameplay gets a lot of questions/compliments since it’s a lesser known but extremely awesome Rare weapon. I have to credit another fantastic D2 creator, Lunarz, for introducing me to this gem a long time ago!
I am not going to lie, I am slightly disappointed that Warlocks didn’t even get a mention, but I’ll allow it because I love when people create super-interesting loadouts that make them happy.
Alright, it’s time to tell us what is your favorite thing you’ve done while streaming and what you are most looking forward to!
My proudest streaming achievement is rallying my community to raise over $12.5K+ in just three 24hr streams for The Trevor Project, Project Hope (COVID relief in India), and GuardiansMH (mental health awareness for gamers). My goal is to raise $25K+ in 2022 and pursue collaborative opportunities with other similar non-profit organizations. All these past charity streams were absolutely stellar and humbling in terms of the support my community showed, and I want to take the incentives to the next level this year. I’ve already started to plan my first charity stream of 2022 benefitting The Trevor Project which *might* involve some secret, cool IRL stream incentives that I’m super excited for. I’ll be announcing the details of this event soon and I’d love to see you there, Guardians!
I’m also looking forward to participating in The Witch Queen World First raid race. Clearing Deep Stone Crypt and Vault of Glass on day-one are some of my most adrenaline-laced, patience-testing gaming experiences and I can’t wait to add the upcoming raid to this list.
Any last words for the readers and where can they find you?
Big shout out to my Masanko squad (especially my admin team who are my brothers) and the GreyterTots. These communities are truly my second family, and I wouldn’t be where I am without their faith and love. Thank you for giving me a home away from home, supporting me and being the wind beneath my wings for all the goals I set out to achieve.
Thank you, Bungie, for creating this breathtakingly beautiful memory machine, Destiny. I know my life and so many others have been transformed in amazing ways from the relationships, memories, and opportunities this game and community has given us.
Lastly, a quick reminder that under all our differences of color, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., we are all just people trying to be happy the best way we know. You never know what someone is going through and what the smallest act of kindness can do for them. I’ll leave you with this gem of a quote from my favorite series of all time, very apt for these turbulent times we're going through:
“It’s like in the great stories. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?
Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something. There is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for."
Thank you so much, Grey, for taking time out of your week to chat with us!
Guardians, if her community fits your vibe, please make sure you go check it out.
*high fives* - Sam
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